Employees who complain about discrimination or harassment in the workplace are protected under federal law.  To ensure that employees are safe to complain about illegal activities at the job, the federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who engage in “protected activity.”

Protected activities include reporting discrimination or harassment both on your own behalf or for somebody else, participating in an investigation of discrimination or harassment, refusing to engage in conduct you believe to be unlawful, asking your employer about your legal rights, requesting accommodations for a disability, or taking medical leave.

Employees often fear that their employer will retaliate against them at their workplace for standing up for their rights – or for the rights of others.  The retaliation can include, among other things, termination, demotion, withholding or decreasing pay, or some other employment action that alters the terms of an employee’s employment.

Unless an employee can point to “direct” evidence of retaliation (for example, a supervisor directly telling you that you are being fired because you complained about your overtime to the Department of Labor), to succeed on a retaliation claim, an employee generally must show that:

(1) he or she engaged in a protected activity;

(2) he or she suffered an adverse employment action; and

(3) there is a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action.

If you plan to take an action that might be considered a “protected activity” and you fear that your employer may retaliate against you, the attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC can help guide you through the process.  Additionally, if you have already taken an action that may be a “protected activity,” and your employer retaliated against you, please contact the employment attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC to discuss your claim.

Do no let your employer silence you through fear of retaliation, and do not let your employer get away with retaliating against you for standing up for your rights – or the rights of others!